Shipping sector is the lifeline for the people of these islanders and it has made discernible progress in providing mobility to men and material between Mainland-Island on one side and Inter Island on the other. The Directorate of Shipping Services (DSS) is responsible for manning, maintaining and operation of the vessels owned by the Administration. The Department is presently providing Shipping services to 29 of the 36 inhabited Island.
The Shipping is the main mode of transportation for passenger and cargo between Mainland-Island and the only mode between the Islands. The department has been able to achieve regular service in almost all the sectors.
The DSS presently operates 71 vessels in four sectors. These are
(a) Mainland -Island Sector: To provide service between Port Blair and Kolkata/Chennai/Vizag;
(b) Inter Island Sector: To provide services between Port Blair and the distant group of Islands;
(c) Fore Shore Sector: To provide services between Port Blair and near by Islands;
(d) Harbour Ferry Sector: To provide services within the sheltered water and narrow creeks by ferry vessels.